In the Kitchen: Mung Dal Kitchari
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With the holidays here, your breakroom at work is probably filled with delicious treats. Your digestive system may need a break from all these foods. Chef instructor Vince Giglia has a recipe featuring some ingredients you can find at Indian or Asian markets. Vegetables can be added to make it a one pot meal and we suggest serving it with the cilantro chutney.
MUNG DAL KITCHARI
¾ cup white basmati rice or quinoa
¾ cup yellow split mung dal or sprouted whole mung beans, lentils or legumes
2 tablespoons ghee or sunflower oil
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon grated or minced fresh ginger
1 pinch of hing (asafoetida)- optional
½ to 1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
4-5 cups water (more if adding vegetables)
Small handful of fresh chopped cilantro
1) Wash the rice and dal well. In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the ghee or oil and add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and hing. Stir a moment until the seeds begin to pop.
2) Add the mung dal, turmeric, ginger, coriander, and salt and stir until well-blended with the spices.
3) Add the water and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, uncovered, stirring frequently.
4) Add the rice, then turn down the heat to low and cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar. Cook until tender, about 20-25 minutes (longer for whole mung beans). Add cilantro a few minutes before serving.
You can add seasonal organic vegetables to make this a “one-pot meal.” Asparagus is especially good in spring, green beans or zucchini in summer, kale or sweet potatoes in fall and winter. Add in the last 10-15 minutes of cooking and use the higher amount of water.
1 bunch (1/4 pound) fresh cilantro leaves, large stems removed
¼ cup fresh lemon or lime juice
¼ cup water
¼ cup grated, unsweetened coconut
2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
1 teaspoon barley malt syrup or honey
¾ teaspoon sea salt or mineral salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1) Blend lemon or lime juice, water, and fresh cilantro until cilantro is chopped.
2) Add remaining ingredients and blend until it is like a paste. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
In a heavy, stainless steel saucepan, place 1 pound of organic unsalted butter.
Turn the heat to medium-low and cook uncovered for about 15-20 minutes. The butter will crackle and pop while it boils. When it quiets down, watch it carefully, as it is almost done and can burn quickly at this stage. When it begins to foam up, much more than in the early stages of cooking, and has a nutty aroma, it is ready. Remove from heat.
Let the ghee cool slightly, then pour it through cheesecloth into a pint glass jar. Let it cool until solid before covering with lid.
Note: If the milk solids on the bottom of the pan are slightly brown, your ghee is about perfect. If they are milky and white, the ghee is slightly undercooked- but still very useable.
Ghee should not be refrigerated and it improves with age, so always keep a back up on hand. It is very important that you never let one drop of water get into the ghee or it will spoil. Always us a clean, dry spoon to remove ghee from the jar.